New Caney man charged in murder of Cleveland man

Emmanuel Smith, 20, of New Caney, is being held on a murder charge in San Jacinto County.

Authorities have apprehended a suspect in the murder of Clay Heard, 44, of Cleveland, whose body was found April 22 in a ditch off of Forest Service Road 201 in the Sam Houston National Forest in San Jacinto County outside of Cleveland. Heard had been shot three times, leading to his death.

The suspect is Emmanuel Smith, 20, of New Caney. Smith is being held on a murder charge in the San Jacinto County Jail with bond set at $1 million bond.

Smith’s arrest on May 12 came after a lengthy, interagency investigative with the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Rangers, Houston Police Department S.W.A.T., Homeland Security and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit.

Smith, the alleged shooter, and an alleged accomplice, whose name authorities have not yet released, were arrested in the parking lot of Home Depot in Conroe. They were taken into custody without incident or injuries to the public or the parties involved, according to a statement from the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office.

“The suspects were found in possession of several weapons, several ounces of methamphetamine and drug contraband. Through the course of the investigation, investigators were made aware the suspects were armed and extremely dangerous, which made it imperative to utilize tactical officer teams to take the suspects into custody, thereby reducing the danger to the public and to all officers involved,” the statement reads.

The other suspect is being held on drug charges in the Montgomery County jail. The sheriff’s office said that his name is being withheld due to the complexity and sensitive nature of the ongoing investigation.

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